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Archives: May 2005

Pakistani President Commends CNN

cnn_pakprez.jpgGeneral Pervez Musharraf, president of Pakistan, is speaking to the CNN World Report Conference now. This was his introduction:

“May I first of all commend the CNN for its very independent and unbiased world news coverage, which I believe is best in the world…

I would like to take this opportunity also to say that we, in this part of the world, are trying our best to bring freedom of speech and expression. We have totally liberated the press and the electronic media, and now we have a number of channels operating here with total freedom of speech. With this action I believe we have completed one of the basic principles of democracy…”

MSNBC Confirms The June 13 “Situation”

MSNBC has confirmed TVNewser’s weekend scoop: “The Situation with Tucker Carlson” will premiere June 13 at 9pm. The show will be a “fast paced, no-holds-barred conversation about the day’s developments in news, politics, world issues and pop culture,” featuring a “regular panel of contributors for lively, pointed and informed discussion,” the press release says.

> I hear Carlson will appear on Friday’s final broadcast of Crossfire…

“Rules Are Made To Be Broken”

“Rules are made to [be] broken — at least for CNBC chairman Pamela Thomas-Graham,” Page Six says, following up on yesterday’s report that PTG has been allowed to join the board of directors of Idenix Pharmaceuticals. The paper quotes an insider: “How can CNBC cover the drug industry when she’s a director at a drug company?”

> Also: A CNBC staffer tells TVNewser: “We have a segment producer who is legally blind. He is in his late 20′s and his folks drive him to work. One day he will not have them to help him and his paltry salary will not help. Yet CNBC, in its infinite wisdom, with Pamela at the helm, ordered him to divest his holdings or leave. Thus far he has done neither, but where is the fairness here? Pamela should leave the CNBC Chairmanship immediately (it’s titular anyway), OR whomever cut her some slack ought to cut this producer some slack. Fair’s fair. Or doesn’t it matter for some? And while we’re at it, who’s monitoring Jim Cramer’s trades? Hmmm?”

> Update: 1:59pm: Jim Cramer e-mails TVNewser in response to the e-mailer’s question: “I agreed to place all my equity holdings in a charitable trust save stock which I founded long before I worked here. Otherwise I am not allowed to own any equities, and I don’t. I am in full compliance with the policy put into place by Pamela Thomas Graham. I welcome any and all scrutiny on this issue from both without and within the organization.” Cramer added that he donates all profits to charity…

Iraqi President References The CNN Effect: “CNN Is A Platform Of Democracy & Debate”

Jabal Talabani, president of Iraq, began his address to the CNN World Report Conference with a message to the network:

“On behalf of the people of Iraq, I extend my congratulations to CNN on its 25th anniversary. You have played an important role, both in the news media and upon the course of history. Most importantly, you have presented free media that is such a vital component of democracy. CNN is a platform of democracy and debate, not a megaphone of terrorism like some Arab medias.

I still remember the important role that CNN played in 1991 when it highlighted the plight of millions of Iraqi Kurds and Iraqi Shittes that were being prosecuted by Saddam’s regime.

The CNN effect played an important role setting up the no-fly-zone over northern and southern Iraq. CNN, by tearing away the curtain by which tyranny hides its crimes, contributed to saving many thousands of lives.”

“We’re Moving In The Right Direction,” Wolf Blitzer Believes

Highlights of Verne Gay’s CNN25 story:

> “I’m pretty optimistic that on the 25th anniversary, we’re moving in the right direction,” Wolf Blitzer says.

> Jim Walton admits: “Some of [CNN's] problems the company brought on itself with various management changes, and some of it was brought on by very loud competitors who were trying – and some would say they were successful in some areas – to define CNN.”

> “Without its extraordinary leader” Ted Turner, “CNN instantly lost a sense of style, adventure and elan. Now the future belongs to Walton, steady, measured and calm, or the mirror opposite of Turner.”

The Henry Schleiff Rumor…

“Court TV chief Henry Schleiff…enjoyed a boomlet of buzz last week that he was being seriously considered to be the next president of NBC News,” Lloyd Grove gossips this morning. “The rumors received traction because Schleiff is a pal and golfing partner of NBC Universal Television Group President Jeff Zucker — the man who wouldn’t mind losing news President Neal Shapiro and who is scouting a possible replacement.”

But that’s not why the rumors received traction. It’s because super-agent Richard Leibner was stirring the pot. As an insider said, “Richard is very very conservative, and doesn’t spread stuff unless he knows it.” But the next day, Leibner was on the phone with friends correcting himself, stating that his information was wrong…

Today At The CNN World Report Conference

I’ll be liveblogging the following events today:

9am: Welcome by Chris Cramer, introduction by Wolf Blitzer, keynote by Jabal Talabani, president of Iraq and General Pervez Musharraf, president of Pakistan.

10:30am: Arab Media Reflection: Panel moderated by Jim Clancy

11:50am: Introduction by Zain Verjee, keynote by Deepak Chopra, lunch

2pm: Blogging: The Fifth Estate, panel moderated by Michael Holmes

3:30pm: Trust As The New Truth, panel moderated by Christiane Amanpour (featuring Chris Cramer and Jon Klein)

What Is The World Report Conference?

Quoting Jim Walton’s letter to delegates: “I am proud of the fact that the CNN World Report Conference is considered to be THE global forum for the exchange of ideas and information amongst the television news industry. Over the next three days, you will see, hear and I hope participate in panels and discussions that go to the very heart of the challenges and opportunities that we all face over the next few years.”

Quoting the first page of the conference program: “The CNN World Report Conference is an international forum for the active exchange of ideas, methods and journalism techniques. This unique gathering offers an opportunity for hundreds of delegates from international broadcasting corporations to meet industry and world leaders as they address important global and industry issues affecting all of us.

Given the extraordinary events of the last year, there is no better time for such a spirited dialogue between colleagues and the newsmakers of our generation. This year’s theme, “Journalism: Connecting a World of Wisdom,” promises to focus on the relevant and important global and industry issues facing us in 2005 and in the future…All topped off with celebrations and tributes wrapped around CNN’s 25th Anniversary.”

Advice to CNN: “Pretend FNC Doesn’t Exist”

Bill Goodykoontz in the Arizona Republic, with advice to CNN: “Here’s a suggestion for the next quarter-century, one that will be impossible to follow because TV– even (maybe especially) TV news — is driven by ratings: Pretend Fox News doesn’t exist. Stick with what you’re good at, which is covering the news. Real news.”

Steve Capus To Senior VP “Within Weeks”

“Anybody notice that local lad Steve Capus was named president of NBC News last week?,” Gail Shister asks. “For nine minutes.” She’s referring to Matt Drudge’s incorrect report that the NBC Nightly News EP would replace Neal Shapiro as NBC News president. “Only one problem: It wasn’t true. Nine minutes later, after the network had notified Drudge of the error, the item was pulled from his massively trafficked site. As one NBC wag quipped, it was the shortest presidency in history.” But he will be promoted to senior VP “within weeks,” an NBC exec tells Shister…